Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pasta alla carbonara

I don't understand why, but it is so dang hard to find carbonara pasta at Italian restaurants!  At, least, thats the case where I live (West Los Angeles).  There used to be an Italian restaurant at Westside Pavillion that served carbonara but that place is long gone, and I haven't found another Italian that place to replace it.

The next thing to do was make it myself!  And I'm glad I did, because apparently, it's incredibly easy to make, almost all the ingredients are basic items I always have stocked in my pantry, and all the ingredients are affordable.  I don't understand how Italian restaruatns can charge close to $20 for a plate of carbonara when I whipped up a week's worth (for 2 people) for under $10.

I have a feeling this recipe is going to be a new go-to recipe in my house for week nights.  Heck, it's so fancy, maybe it can be a go-to dinner party recipe too!

I also wanted to mention that the version of Pasta alla carbonara I made is the traditional Italian version.  The ones you get with peas or mushrooms and heavy cream in it is the bastardized American version.  I don't like the version with heavy cream in it since not only does it make it more fattening, but I never have heavy cream in the house anyways (who does?).

You will need:
1 pound of spaghetti (yes, traditionally it's spaghetti.  Bastardized versions may use linguine or fettucine)
1.5 cups of grated Parmesan cheese (the more the better! hehe)
1/3 stick of butter
1 package of bacon (what are these, like a pound?), diced.  You can also use pancetta if you are feeling rich/spendy/fancy
4 eggs
1 cup of white wine (if you don't want to use wine, you can sub with another cup of stock)
1 cup of chicken stock
black pepper
1 large onion, chopped
8 cloves of garlic, minced
handful of fresh parsley, chopped.

Really easy instructions.
Bring a big pot of salted water to boil and add in the pasta.  Cook until al dente (or in my case, mushy because the baby started crying right around the time when I was supposed to take the pasta off the stove).
While the pasta is cooking, brown the bacon.  When the bacon is crispy, put the bacon on a plate and discard some of the bacon grease, leaving about 2 tablespoons behind (if you want to be healthy, discard all of the bacon grease and substitute with olive oil).
Brown the chopped onions and garlic in the bacon grease.  When they are done browning, deglaze the pan with the wine.  Once deglazed, add in the chicken broth and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Is the pasta done yet?  Drain the pasta and set aside.
After the onions have simmered for a few minutes, turn off the heat.  In a large bowl, add in the raw eggs, the Parmesan cheese, the parsley and beat with a fork.  Pour the hot drained pasta into the large bowl, then pour the bacon on top of the pasta, then drizzle the onion broth on top of everything.  Season with black pepper.
Grab a pair of tongs and mix the pasta until everything is thoroughly mixed.  Put some on a plate, garnish with some extra parsley and Parmesan, and enjoy!
That was too easy.